One aspect of the new tax bill passed in late 2017, is a much higher standard deduction of $12,000 for singles and $24,000 for couples filing jointly. As a result of the higher standard deduction, it may no longer make sense for some people to itemize their deductions. According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, it is estimated that the number of taxpayers who itemize will decline to 10% from 30% of all taxpayers. Read more
The Fall is both peak fire season in the Western US and peak hurricane season in the Southeast. Furthermore, California is way overdue for a major earthquake. For all of these reasons, it seems now is a good time to make sure you are ready for a disaster. While there are many things to prepare for a potential disaster, my attention is focused on the critical financial items. Read more
I recently read a book, Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be by Frank Bruni, that shed some light on the college admissions hysteria many families find themselves immersed in, particularly those who live in affluent communities. Over the past decade, college admissions rates have plummeted, with some of the elite schools now boasting rates in the 5% range, yet families have become ever more focused on obtaining admission to a small list of these elite schools. Read more
The data breach at Equifax, which exposed at least 143 million people’s financial data, is a symptom of the Age of Accelerations. Accelerations in globalization and technology are enabling thieves to be ever more sophisticated in their crimes. If even a company where data security should be paramount can be compromised, how are far less sophisticated consumers to protect themselves? Until the system changes, it is on us to protect ourselves. Read more
With over 100,000 people displaced by the North Bay fires, chances are even if you weren’t directly impacted by them, you may know someone who was. Recovering from a catastrophic loss of this nature is complicated by the emotional challenges of grieving from the loss. We’ve included some tips below to help begin the long road to recovery, gathered from survivors of previous fires and insurance experts. Read more
A book I recently read, Thank You for Being Late by Thomas Friedman, helped make sense of the crazy world we live in. I’ve been feeling like things are moving ever faster and finding it overwhelming at times to deal with the hectic nature of life. This book helped me understand why I am feeling this way and had some good ideas on how to deal with the world we live in.
If you are like the 44% of Americans who made New Year’s resolutions in January, you might by now also be feeling like the 92% of people who fail to keep their resolutions. If so, you might be wondering what is the best way to stay on track? What can I do if I fall off the wagon? Or why bother setting them at all?
After a particularly divisive and negative election season, many might be craving a bit more positive energy and healing. The hectic pace and excessive consumption of the holidays can also cause stress. For these reasons, now is a particularly good time to focus on gratitude and generosity to others.
With the recent spate of high‐profile hacking incidents into corporate networks (e.g., Home Depot, JPMorgan), now is a good time to review ways you can protect yourself online and make sure your cyber hygiene is adequate given the ever‐more sophisticated tactics of hackers and fraudsters.
While traveling in Costa Rica this summer, I realized that there are many ways to make an international vacation slightly less expensive.